We had good news today! Our car was fixed so we went to Ávila (a stunning walled Medieval city about an hour away) to drop off the rental car and pick it up. Our insurance had arranged for a taxi to take us between the rental agency and the repair garage. So we came out with instructions from God (via Jesús in the Enterprise Rental offices) to look for José, who (for some reason) was parked a few blocks away instead of in the empty Enterprise lot. He would be the one, we were told, with an Audi. (To set him apart, apparently, from the roughly fifty-thousand other Audi’s sold each year in Spain…) We eventually tracked down José (in the 95+F temps) and he opened the Audi’s trunk (“boot” for my UK readers).
This was clearly a job for my very rudimentary Spanish. “No bolsa de viaje,” I told him. “No suitcase.” But he pointed to my dog, and then to the trunk.
“Aquí es para el perro.” (The dog goes here.)
When I stood there, my jaw dropping and shaking my head, he gestured impatiently. “Sí!”
My Spanish might be less than basic, but even I can repeat a few choice phrases I’d heard here. So I did.
The effect of my eloquence on José was impressive. He sucked in a breath and let loose with a stream of fury. From the corner of my eye, I could see the Hub and the dog watching. The Hub was grinning as he leaned in and whispered to me. “I think you told him to put his mother in the trunk and um… do something to her there.”
I was quite pleased. “Really? Well that can happen before he sticks my dog into an Audi-shaped oven on a day where the temperature is mid-90s.” (Translation: mid-30s for you non-American types…)
José continued yelling, and it was clear his communication left my little madre comment pitifully far behind. I thought he’d leave us behind as well, when he pulled open the door and started yelling about his beautiful clean coche. I pretended to think he was waving us in, so I hopped into the front passenger seat with my dog at my feet and turned to beam my biggest smile (lots of teeth) at José.
Our trip to the mechanics was made in record time, although as fast as José took every corner, his stream of shouting and insults was even faster. Too bad—I would have really liked to know what some of those words meant…
But the good news is that we have our car back, so our trip home can proceed on schedule. However, it’s just possible that the actual translation of what I suggested José do to his mother has set Spanish/American relations back by centuries, and we’ll actually need to make a quick getaway much sooner. (Which, I think, is totally the Hub’s fault for not playing along when I suggested telling José that we were Canadian…)
Still, I’m already sad to be leaving Spain. There’s still so much here to see. And, clearly, SO many new words to learn.